Malaysian opposition delegation warns Australia of rising Islamic radicalism in Malaysia

By on October 23, 2014


Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. LensaMalaysia / Wikimedia Commons.
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. LensaMalaysia / Wikimedia Commons.

CANBERRA, Australia—A delegation from a Malaysian opposition party has called on Australia’s government to use its influence to discourage the Southeast Asian country’s authorities from fanning Islamic radicalism for political gain.

Three lawmakers from Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s People’s Justice Party met with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Tuesday to discuss Malaysia’s checkered human rights record and the ruling UMNO party’s attitude toward extremism.

Delegation leader Rafizi Ramli told reporters before the meeting that a recent rise of “far right wing and racist groups” in Malaysia endorsed by the UMNO posed a threat to Australia as a regional neighbour.

Bishop confirmed that “the risk posed to our region by foreign fighters” was discussed at the 30-minute meeting with Rafizi and his Malaysian colleagues Sim Tze Tzin and Lee Chean Chung.